An update on the state of the vineyards in Alentejo from our chief winemaker David Baverstock. Stay tuned for another update in August just prior to harvest!
David says: “We have had a very dry winter and a cool spring. There is a good crop at present and the vines arelooking very healthy. As spring temperatures were on the cool side and humidity levels were low, there was little pressure on the spraying program for control of fungal diseases and from this point of view it has been a much easier viticultural year to date compared with 2011.
As we are now into summer, and the final ripening stages, the major concern is a possible lack of water following the very dry winter and low rainfall. Underground water levels are low and dams with irrigation water are also on the low side. If summer temperatures are high, we may run into problems with lack of water to maintain the vines in a healthy state, giving rise to leaf dehydration, lack of photosynthesis, and uneven grape maturation. If summer temperatures are not too extreme, we should be in for a very good year, both in terms of quantity and quality.
The next 6 weeks are crucial for grape quality. We are about 10 days behind in the vineyard in terms of grape maturation as compared to last year, because of the cooler spring conditions.”